A GRIP ON SPORTS
Some days I head downstairs to write knowing exactly what I am going to pontificate about. Today is not one of those days. Read on.
• It's not because I am suffering from writer's block or anything. It's more that there's nothing that really stands out. Sure, yesterday was the first day of the early letter-of-intent signing period, with most of the attention on the basketball recruits, but I've written about the importance of signing day before. I don't want to repeat myself too often. And, sure, I could always write about the Seahawks. After all, they are the hottest commodity in the Northwest right now, hotter even than a Starbucks venti-sized regular drip. But that well seems a bit dry this week what with the Vikings coming to town to serve as this week's sacrificial lamb. To make matters worse, no one, not Gonzaga, not WSU, not Eastern, not Whitworth, not even Idaho played a home basketball game last night. The Vandals were in action, but their game was two time zones away and they were pounded around pretty well by Oklahoma. I can tell you my alma mater, UC Irvine, is in Seattle tonight to face the Huskies, but other than UW is the opponent, why should you care? Talking about your old school on a blog is akin to talking about your fantasy team in the office. No one cares. Heck, there isn't even a high school football game tonight to dwell upon for a paragraph or two. It's playoff time, so everything is set for the weekend. So I am at a loss. Which means I should just get out of the way and get to the links. There are a lot of them today. So we have that going for us.
• WSU: The Cougars have only a couple days left to prepare for an Arizona offense that is a bit different beast today than it was a couple months ago. Jacob Thorpe examines the challenge the Wildcats pose in today's story. He also faces the challenge of this week's Pac-12 picks, held a live chat yesterday, has a blog post following practice last night and one this morning, with links. … Jacob didn't neglect basketball, though the Cougar men didn't sign any basketball players yesterday. Jacob has this interview with DaVonte Lacy from before yesterday's practice. … Speaking of picks, we can pass along these from ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog along with some bowl projections from San Jose. … Deone Bucannon (pictured making a tackle) is on the Wildcats' radar. … There was basketball action in the conference last night, with Colorado holding off a good Wyoming team, a jet-lagged Oregon getting past Western Carolina, Oregon State barely getting past Portland at home and Utah signing a trio of highly coveted recruits. Aren't they all? … Poor Stanford. If this were next year, the Cardinal would be golden.
• Gonzaga: With the S-R covering the LOI signings in roundup form, we will put the link here in the GU section. The Bulldogs' group of three basketball guards leads the story. Jim Meehan also has more in this blog post. One of the guards, Silas Melson (pictured), is from Portland. … The Bulldog women signed a couple of players as well, including one from Montana. A forward who was expected to anchor this year's GU women's recruiting class before bailing, decided to stay closer to home. … BYU was expecting a decent class. But when a 6-foot-10 post, who had committed to Ohio State, changed his mind and signed with the Cougars, the class got a lot better. … USD signed a point guard. … USF rallied for a win last night.
• EWU: The Eagles will face a stout test in Cal Poly's defense this Saturday. Jim Allen has all the particulars in this story. He also has links for this morning and a live chat scheduled for this afternoon. … Portland State evened its record at 1-1 with a home win.
• Chiefs: Everett led by two goals late but lost 6-5 to Regina.
• Preps: It is Thursday, so there is a lot of prep stories to pass along. But the one you don't want to miss is Greg Lee's column on the Job-like season faced by Coeur d'Alene coach Shawn Amos and his family. … Greg also has a feature on a Cd'A receiver and his weekly picks with KHQ's Sam Adams. … Jim Allen covered Central Valley's 4A state playoff soccer victory last night. … Chris Derrick advances U-Hi's quest for a state 3A volleyball title and has a glance at all the tournaments this weekend. … We can also pass along a look at the state playoff football games.
• Seahawks: Just about once or twice a week we link a story concerning a change in the practice squad roster. So today we can link a Todd Dybas feature on the people who have to face all those changes. It's a tough way to make a living. … I guess it's better than being on the injury list. That list is actually growing shorter in Seattle, which is a good thing. … Though Minnesota has been awful this season, Adrian Peterson always gives them a chance – to score at least. Pete Carroll talked about that and lots of other things. So did Earl Thomas and Golden Tate. … Bruce Irvin has found a home at linebacker.
• Sounders: Sports Illustrated is reporting the Sounders are shopping Eddie Johnson around the MLS. Maybe all the talk about everything being OK with Johnson and his money demands was just that, talk. Don't act surprised.
• Mariners: Hisashi Iwakuma did not win the American League Cy Young Award. Don't act surprised.
• And yes, I did put a bit of a Carl Spackler quote in my comments this morning. It's Journalism 101. Never miss a chance to make a Caddyshack reference. Until later …